Athletics: Mok Ying Ren sets new national best in half-marathon at Arizona race

National long-distance runner Mok Ying Ren clocked locked 1hr 7min 8sec at the Arizona Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon on Sunday.
National long-distance runner Mok Ying Ren clocked locked 1hr 7min 8sec at the Arizona Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon on Sunday. PHOTO: MOK YING REN

SINGAPORE - Singapore marathoner Mok Ying Ren set a new national best time in the half marathon when he clocked 1hr 7min 8 sec at the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon.

The previous national best of 1:07:21 was held by Soh Rui Yong, who had bettered Mok's earlier national mark of 1:07:29 last September at the San Jose Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon in California. Mok, the 2013 SEA Games marathon champion, clocked 1:08:22 at that race.

"This result tells me I'm going in the right direction, which is a good sign," said Mok, who is training full-time in a bid to qualify for August's Olympics. The qualifying mark is 2:19, while Mok's personal best is 2:26:30, clocked in 2013.

The result represents an upturn of fortunes for the orthopaedic surgery resident, who had to contend with a litany of injuries over the past two years. In 2014, he had to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games due to a shin injury. Last June, he pulled out of the SEA Games after hurting his left gluteal muscle.

"There have been a lot of ups and downs with all the injuries, and I'm happy that I'm performing at a level higher than two years ago," said Mok.